Not Dead Yet! Completing Spitzer's Legacy with Early Type Galaxies

Type Journal Article
Names Kartik Sheth, Lee Armus, E. Athanassoula, Albert Bosma, Dimitri Gadotti, Juan Carlos Munoz-Mateos, Joannah Hinz, Michael Regan, Eija Laurikainen, Tom Jarrett, Dennis Zaritsky, Karin Menendez-Delmestre, Barry Madore, Debra Elmegreen, Johan Knapen, Hei
Publication Spitzer Proposal
Pages 10043
Journal Abbreviation Spitzer Proposal
Date October 1, 2013
Library Catalog
Abstract The study of early type galaxies (ellipticals and lenticulars) is undergoing a renaissance with new observations that are confronting our notions of these systems as being old, dead and red. Observations are revealing stellar substructure, gas and dust, star formation and tidal debris in these galaxies, all of which are challenging our understanding of the formation and evolution of these 'simple' systems. Here we propose to assemble a complete survey of all nearby early type galaxies (ETGs) using archival and new observations for all ETGs at d < 40 Mpc (v < 3000.0 km/s), m_B < 15.5, D_25 > 1 arcminute and \|b\| > 30 degrees. We request 188.1 hrs to map 465 ETGs at 3.6 and 4.5 microns - this will provide a statistically robust and complete sample of ETGs with sufficient numbers in each mass, type and environment to study their structure, reconstruct their evolution through stellar populations, assess their recent merger history and ultimately constrain their origins. These data will be the most sensitive probe to date for faint stellar structures such as nuclear cusps, large scale shells and rings, and stellar disks in the largest sample of ETGs ever assembled, providing an extremely sensitive test of current and future models for the formation and evolution of ETGs over cosmic time.
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